Journey to Sierra Leone

Part 2: Pregnant doctor Erin Carey finds neglect in Sierra Leone maternity ward.
7:19 | 12/17/11

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Transcript for Journey to Sierra Leone
Yeah this is doctor Erin -- we are walk. -- three words for her unborn son will take them halfway around the world. Aaron is a doctor at the university of north Carolina at Chapel Hill hospitals. She's volunteered for programs helping women in the world's poorest countries. -- she's agreed to report witness on the medical system and Sierra Leone. More women die in childbirth here that almost any other country on the planet. Just after dawn -- goes to the princess question maternity hospital for a tour it's the largest public hospital in Sierra Leone. You might think a pregnant woman would be safer in -- hospital them that dirt floors above. Aaron enters this labor -- it looks like a war zone. Nurses mop up blood with dirty water no less dissent the surgical gloves are being lost in the sick to be used. Again there's no real routine her hand hygiene. Or transfer of -- between patients which is a major concern. Within minutes of entering the labor war. A woman has collapsed on the floor and -- Helps deliver her body. Did a good job. This is another labor war all over the hospital Aaron finds women neglected and isolated -- they want someone to be here -- You're doing so and the nurses think at the end here and makes me feel faster. 26 year old on -- not is hemorrhaging. The race to save her life has just begun. Good how much much -- an -- facility and -- Michigan the leading. Center out of action. Hemorrhaging is the primary killer of women in childbirth we've got to have by the access. You know -- -- the women -- what does this. The fastest way to stop the bleeding has to administer anti hemorrhaging drops the we have pockets coincident or came across -- But both drugs are often not available here. -- not is losing consciousness summer. And then at Iran is desperately trying to start an -- yeah. Downstairs the technicians tell us that the blood bank is bankrupt. They show us near empty refrigerator the hospital relies on patients' relatives to supply the blood. And that just this is -- an honest husband he doesn't have a compatible blood time so we tries to -- blood from strangers on the street. Finally he finds his sister who agrees to donate blood. Back in the labor ward the nurses and finally managed to waste one he's feeling. But I'm not as blood pressure has dropped dangers to sixty over forty. -- -- very low blood pressure. My god. Extremely frustrated right now because this apparently is not much of a priority -- -- -- -- in shock. Who. Could die. It takes three hours before -- and -- has finally wheeled into the operating -- There is nothing more errand can do you know -- I feel helpless with the situation right now. Why they went and got. There's just no warning track. The government provides hospitals with free -- for pregnant went. But there's been a critical shortage of the anti hemorrhaging drugs they so desperately need. -- Gorman is a nurse who founded an organization called life graphic and -- For the past six years she's been making trips to Africa delivering vital drugs to pregnant women all over the continent. We've been trying at this hospital for hot tea. During a tour of this government hospitals who discovers a waiting room piled high with boxes and -- it's mostly antibiotics. -- -- -- -- -- it's what they think anything. What they actually need is a drug called -- -- also wrong that's also one of the most effective anti hemorrhaging drugs on the market. But luckily inside that plastic back she carries a gift of life for these women. I have this precious -- believe it caused the price of a postage stamp to save a life. In this fact is that we -- help save lives about 15100. And the cost of that kids. Less than -- thousand dollars. In the past two years -- donated enough drugs to save almost 151000. Lives. -- all the barriers between women and the medical care they need you might think that the spirit women is apparently on would be broken. Yet here in bay one of the poorest slums in the capital we find mothers -- fighting against all odds whether babies. I'm having Saturday. The living room. -- -- -- These women are waiting to register for -- appointments at the Aberdeen women's center. It's a pilot project funded by the globe foundation that offers free maternal health care -- the poorest of the board. She and -- dignity and seek to in the care. A midwife from the -- heads into the slumped to meet with the women. But these men demanded twenty dollars before she can start her work and yeah. The women are angry they -- leave the room and head to the closest neighbors Shaq to prevent payment of the bride and today there's a new found sisterhood here and they won their -- The next morning Aaron carry -- to the center where itself is why the women. -- so fiercely. It was night in game comparing -- to facilitate country -- same country same patient population. -- no maternal deaths. I think he's never came it was because -- because this -- is at -- -- and -- have health care and that in the country. Like all these women -- sees a stark contrast between this clinic. And the government hospital. When I was at that facility when I actually thought I could deliver here. Here everything is their -- lives there's an ample supply of -- and tender care for the mothers and babies. It's definitely Cummings. June Holden wants to revolutionize the government hospital system by sending in properly trained midwives. He finished he will you be taken those policies -- -- when he pays things off. -- -- Yeah because of these -- again these -- -- didn't believe them. -- Kerry's visit is all too -- but this pregnant American doctor walks away with -- lesson that has changed her mind. Basic medications. Basic -- are -- I think that and that is what changes to hit the things that are needed are so simple. And things it would take for granted.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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